Wooden Crosses


Drama / War

IMDb Rating 7.7 10 1


Downloaded times
November 18, 2021


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1.03 GB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
115 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.92 GB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
115 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8 / 10 / 10

Excellent, but not the best of its type...

1930 saw two great anti-war films about WWI--"All Quiet On the Western Front" and the German-made "Westfront 1918". Both were unrelentingly grim and accurate in their portrayal of war as a never-ending hellish existence. These were certainly NOT the glorious depictions of war you usually see for WWII. This is for several reasons. First, WWI was unusual in its brutality and pointlessness for the average soldier--far,far worse than wars before or since. Second, the 1930s was an era when the reality of the past war had finally sunk in--that many millions had essentially died for nothing. As a result, the anti-war movement was exceptionally strong. Third, unlike the films made during WWII which were made to bolster the war effort, this WWI type of film was made to show how war sucks and should not be fought--or perhaps how not to fight it. While "Wooden Crosses" is one of the great anti-war films of this era, it's not one of the very, very best (such as the two mentioned above). The biggest reason is that the characters are more ill-defined--and so one person looks pretty much like another. This makes for a less satisfying film--but also perhaps reiterates the anonymity of war. And, I must point out, it does a terrific job of showing what war is like--with gobs of explosions and death. But, because other films had come out before it that were just a bit better, this film somehow got lost in the process. A truly exceptional film--but try the other two first. And, if you'd like, also try "The Eagle and the Hawk" as well as "Ace of Aces"--two excellent American anti-war films that truly personalize the awfulness of war.

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 9 / 10 / 10

I say it again:horror is timeless.

The precedent user wrote that he saw old men crying while watching this film.Such is the strength of these pictures.Raymond Bernard's movie compares favorably with "All quiet on the western front" (Lewis Milestone)"Westfront 1918" (Pabst) or even more recent works such as "paths of glory" . Bernard 's approach (transferring a best-seller for the screen) was almost documentary.We know almost nothing about the three leads.The intermixing of the social classes (there is a baker,a worker and a law student)was not,as it has often been mooted,the main subject -as it was in Renoir's "la grande illusion" - of "les croix de bois" .Its purpose is,as the precedent user wrote,to show that horror is timeless. "If you do not get the military Cross ,you'll get the wooden cross " the soldiers sing.The prologue tells it all: ranks of soldiers become ranks of crosses.In "J'accuse"(Abel gance,1938),a soldier says that pretty soon there will not be enough wood to make crosses for the graveyards. Admirable sequences: -A soldier is singing a peaceful "Ave Maria" in a church but a terrifying camera movement reveals an improvised hospital with disabled soldiers . -A dead soldier has received a letter.One of his mates lays it down on his grave with a rose. -The central battle scene which lasts about 15 minutes.On the screen ,a line appears "it lasted ten days" ,then another one "ten days" ,then in large characters "TEN DAYS". -The soldiers taking refuge in a graveyard (!) where one of them (Charles Vanel) is dying, cursing again and again his unfaithful wife,then breathing his forgiveness. -The student's death ,with death rattles and cries of terror all around him (I want my mum!I do not wanna die!).The ending does not use any music,which was rare at the time, and it increases tenfold strength and emotion. After watching this movie on TV,in 1962, a WW1 old campaigner committed suicide.It speaks volumes about the strength of these pictures.

Reviewed by dbborroughs 9 / 10 / 10

Better than most modern war films and a must see

Based on a biographical novel concerning life during WW1 this is included in the Raymond Bernard Box set from Eclipse (ie. Criterion). Made in 1932 the film seems to have been made years later. The technical aspects of the film are astounding. a blending of silent and sound techniques with images that foreshadow the Hollywood films of the 1940's, the war documentaries of the second world war not to mention modern films such as Saving Private Ryan and the Thin Red Line this film for the most part doesn't feel 75 years old. The plot follows a company of men from enlistment to the end. After a slow start where the film introduces everyone and we get a feel for the characters the movie moves to the trenches and battle where we are placed into harms way with the men we have been introduced to. What follows are essentially a series of set pieces that move the men further and further in to war's nightmare. There is a sequence where the men wait in the trenches and in one bunker in particular, where they can hear the German tunneling below them to place charges which will, when detonated blow them to kingdom come. Its an unnerving sequence since the men know whats coming but are unable to do anything about it- except hope that their rotation comes before the bombs go off. The centerpiece of the film is an never ending attack, on ward and onward and onward. How could anyone do such a thing? As a title card say the attack lasted for ten days. I was exhausted by the sequence and it lasted only for twenty or so minutes. Its an amazing piece of film making. If there is a flaw in the film its that the dialog sequences seem more Hollywood convention (if you'll allow me to say about a film made in France). The group of men are your standard bunch and they all seem to get lost. Not that it ruins the film, it doesn't, it just keeps the film from having that complete emotional connection. Rightly considered a classic film, this is must viewing for anyone who loves the cinema.

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